Teenage footballer Luke James, from Amble, admitted it was a ‘dream come true’ after playing against boyhood club Sunderland.
The 17-year-old Hartlepool United prodigy started last Friday’s pre-season friendly between the two sides.
While he didn’t find the net, he was delighted to feature against the club he has supported all his life, who brought a strong side to Victoria Park, including Lee Cattermole and Fraizer Campbell.
And to put the icing on the cake, the League One side defeated their Premier League opponents 1-0, with a goal by Newcastle United fan Steve Howard.
Luke, who signed a pro deal with Pools last year, said: “I never thought I would be able to play against Sunderland. I grew up watching them, so to play against them was unbelievable. It was quite surreal.”